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Kevin Ayers - Whatevershebringswesing CD (album) cover

WHATEVERSHEBRINGSWESING

Kevin Ayers

Canterbury Scene


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Trotsky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Seemingly content to remain a cult figure (even among prog fans) Kevin Ayers will forever be linked to the music he made as a founder member of the Soft Machine. And yet his solo career should not be written off as a complete waste of time. Undeniably patchy, it nonetheless contains some joyous highlights. Whatevershebringswesing is his third solo album, and like Joy Of A Toy and Shooting At The Moon, it is full of whimsical early Soft Machine style tunes (A style that the group itself had abandoned by the time of its third album Third).

That strength though is also a weakness, because there is a certain sense of deja vu that one feels upon encountering this record, and surely 1972 was too early a time to start repeating oneself. I pretty sure though that my perception of this record is coloured by the fact that I own a 19 track Best Of Kevin Ayers which includes the best tracks here ... There Is Loving/Among Us/There Is Loving and Song From The Bottom Of A Well (as well as the less essential Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes). As such, Whatevershebringswesing the album seems like an unnecessary luxury to me, whereas a newcomer might well rate this album higher.

As I said, the real highlights are the symphonic, brass heavy There Is Loving/Among Us/There Is Loving which reminds me of segments from King Crimson's Lizard album and the eerie, cinematic Song From The Bottom Of A Well, which has a spoken-word performance, in which Ayers sounds somewhat like Leonard Cohen, that is gradually consumed by a barrage of jarring sound effects.

Passable, but non-essential cuts include Margaret, a delicate watery ballads with Ayers' deep baritone virtually talking his way through the song and a languid title track that's part Canterbury, part Engelbert Humperdinck! The afore-mentioned Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes is a jocular rocker that's strongly influenced by Lou Reed's compositional style, although an avant-garde piano solo briefly gives the piece a totally different flavour.

It wouldn't be an Ayers album without some misfiring silliness, though and Whatevershebringswesing gives us Oh My, a pub singalong with fiddle and a touch of big-band jazz and the drunken mock-country Champagne Cowboy Blues which, aside from a dizzying disjointed passage towards the end, is generally dull.

Despite the presence of the yet-to-discovered Mike Oldfield and a number of other strong musicians, this album isn't really gripping enough, and will only really appeal to converts of Ayers' particular brand of music. ... 46% on the MPV scale

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Send comments to Trotsky (BETA) | Report this review (#48449)
Posted Monday, September 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars Behind this typically Canterbury-humor title, and a Jerome Bosch-like artwork sleeve hides may be one of Ayer's more average solo career album. Although Coxhill is gone (GonGman Malherbe on reeds replaces him), Bedford and Olfield are still around and the drum stool is held by ex-East Of Eden Dufort.

Right from the first note of the opening track There Is Loving Among Us, you know that you are in for some of the most serious musical explorations in Ayers's career. The slow intro and outro of this track is simply fascinating and indicative on how talented Ayers could be, but this reinforces the sad feeling that he never did force his talent enough. Margaret is a rather fine but soft love track and Oh My is the only flaw on the first side of the vinyl. Song From The Bottom Of A Well is another stunner, although one wish it was longer.

The second vinyl side starts with the rather strange title track, but although pleasant , it is rather overlong but with Wyatt on backing vocals. Next is one of Ayer's most enduring song (but not my fave), Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes, Champagne Cowboy blues being almost country but holds a very recognizable Oldfield guitar, but the track almost digresses for a few second into a fanfare and Lullaby is rather plain.

The Bonus tracks are not that interesting, Stars being the B-side of the Stranger single and one would wish for inclusion on the original vinyl. The other two tracks also missing the cut and having been released on his 76 compilation Odd Ditties.

Following this album, Ayers will tour with GonG, even planning to join, but this was not to be, and there will be a one off BBC In Concert special - maybe the best CD from Kevin up to nowadays. Anyway had the quality of the tracks from the first side been repeated on the second side, we would have a real classic, but again as usual, the album is rather uneven and this is again due to Ayers not forcing his talent

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#62647)
Posted Sunday, January 01, 2006 | Review Permalink
fuxi
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I must have been sixteen, and deeply in love with a girl whose initials were WvM, when this girl's former boyfriend (who happened to be a close friend of mine, and who introduced me to ELP, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, John Cale and virtually all of the Canterbury Scene) played me the second song from this album, a warm and tender love song entitled 'Margaret'. I was immediately hooked. All of love's sweet sickness seemed encapsulated in its beautiful melody. Kevin Ayers' deep bass voice (better face it folks, Kevin's a bass, NOT a baritone) expressed hidden feelings other rock balladeers simply couldn't reach.

My friend then recorded the entire album for me, and ever since I've considered it one of Kevin Ayers' strongest efforts. I know WHATEVERSHEBRINGSWESING wasn't meant to be a concept album, but it does seem to have been planned as a suite, with the following ingredients:

A-Side

- Track 1: Orchestral introduction (with sung middle part)

- Track 2: Tender love ballad

- Track 3: Light-hearted relief

- Track 4: Noisy, menacing psychedelia

B-Side

- Track 5: Exquisite, longish ballad

- Track 6: Cheerful pop song

- Track 7: Hungover pop song

- Track 8: Tender instrumental outro

Let me emphasize that I admire all the tracks on this album, although I occasionally skip the 'noisy, menacing psychedelia' of track 4. (This tune was once used as a demonstration track on Belgian radio, to demonstrate how deep a bass singer could go. It actually sounds as if it comes from the bottom of a well!)

Track 1 is a brave attempt to fuse experimental orchestral music (arranged by David Bedford) with Kevin's philosophical musings, a combination Kevin would try out on a grander scale a few years later, on THE CONFESSIONS OF DR DREAM.

Tracks 3 and 7 were called 'silly' by an earlier reviewer, to which I can only reply: 'Where's your sense of humour, man?' Jolly ditties such as these (more or less in the spirit of the Bonzo Dog Band) never fail to cheer me up. Kevin's stylish way of singing explains why in the mid-seventies some people considered him as 'decadent' as David Bowie or Lou Reed.

Track 5, the title tune, is the highlight of the album. It is a warm-hearted hymn to friendship, for which Kevin is joined by his old colleague from Soft Machine, Robert Wyatt, in the unforgettable chorus: "So let's drink some wine / and have a good time / but if you really want to come through / let the good times have you." Ayers' deep voice and Wyatt's high-pitched treble fit each other perfectly. The song as a whole simply makes me melt: there are female back-up singers as well, and the piece also contains an extended guitar solo by Mike Oldfield. This must be one of Oldfield's most lyrical solos ever. (Our Mike had not yet been spoiled by personal success. WHATEVERSHEBRINGSWESING must have been recorded before TUBULAR BELLS.)

The final piece on the original WHATEVERSHEBRINGSWESING is worth pointing out to Gong freaks, as it's a sweet and tender piece for flute, performed by no other than Didier Malherbe, a.k.a. Bloomdido Badgrass. And just to make you feel you're getting your money's worth, the album now comes with several fascinating bonus tracks. (I adore 'Fake Mexican Tourist Blues'.)

In conclusion: this is one of Kevin Ayers' most endearing albums; essential to anyone interested in Canterbury scene (although there are no jazzy instrumentals); also essential to Mike Oldfield completists!

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Send comments to fuxi (BETA) | Report this review (#100478)
Posted Sunday, November 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars #1 There Is Loving/Amonst Us/There Is Loving:::::::::::: What a way to start the album. Amazing orchestral opening, with great horn play by Didier Malherbe from Gong. Great Canterbury style keys also from David Bedford. In the middle of the song Ayers makes his appearance, with some nice backing vocals, leaving the last 1/3 of the song as an instrumental (mostly classical), just like the first 1/3. 7:22min long.

#2 Margaret:::::::::: Soft music. Beautiful piano and wah wash guitar. The thing that stands out about this song is it's nicely arranged, and very well produced. Kevin's voice is also very good, deep like always.

#3 Oh My::::::::::::: Psychedelic country-blues (?), very unusual song, makes references to drinking alcohol, a theme that colors alot of the album. Nice horn arragments, and very imaginative and original with a mix of different genres.

#4 Song From The Bottom Of A Well::::::::::::::Psychedelic, very... Creepy voice by Ayers. Nice effects on this song and another reference to wine. Crazy, wild, out of control, loony, are words I would use to describe this. Very tripppy dark song.

#5 Whatevershebringswesing:::::::::::: Nice song, very normal sounding after the last number, Robert Wyatt guests on this song, lending his vocals with Ayers while they sing: "Lets drink some wine, and have a good time, and let the good time have you". I like the lyrics on this song. I know many people consider this album Kevin Ayers best album because of this song. I think this song is probably the best song on this album, and one of Ayers best songs overall.

#6 Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes::::::::: Another popular tune. It's a fun feel good song. Tells a good story. I like the drums, and the robotic sounding voice. Also the piano is pretty sharp as well. "Oh by the way thanks for that cigarette...mmm...thank you very much".

#7 Champagne Cowboy Blues::::::::::::: A drunken sloppy tune, kinda depressing and goofy, don't get me wrong it's a great song, and I absolutly love the electric guitar solo and the violin. Joy Of A Toy fades in near the end and almost drownes out the song, which I always though was weird.

#8 Lullabye::::::::::::You hear running water in the background, which I always like, then you hear very beautiful flute's by Didier Malherbe. This song is absolutly beautiful and relaxing and instrumental. A great way to end the album.

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Send comments to Jake E. (BETA) | Report this review (#137481)
Posted Sunday, September 09, 2007 | Review Permalink
febus
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
4 stars THE ''CLASSIC'' AYERS ALBUM!

WHATEVERSHEBRINGSWESING was the first album i bought from KEVIN AYERS and always it has hold a special place in my heart as listening to this album reminds me the good times of my childhood back then in 1972. It is also one of the best releases of the ex-SOFT MACHINE member. This recording has some of the best songs KEVIN AYERS ever recorded, but also, KEVIN being KEVIN , a few odd ones as usual preventing WHATEVERSHEBRINGSWESING to be a masterpiece.

THE WHOLE WORLD has been disbanded but MIKE OLDFIELD and DAVID BEDFORD are back with DIDIER MALHERBE from GONG taking over COXHILL on horns. ROBERT WYATT as an old friend also joins on the title track for a duet with KEVIN. I am schocked that this album so far has gotten only ...8 reviews so far on PA,a site supposedly dedicated to prog artists. I just hope this album gets more reviews in the future as it deserves it.

The album opens with THERE IS LOVING/AMONG US which happens to be my all time- favorite AYERS song! This is a beautiful mini-suite, 7mns long, composed by both AYERS and BEDFORD, very prog, but in a beautiful way with exquisite brass arrangements and an orchestra playing very dramatic grandiose music, not your usual typical AYERS song, for sure. A very symphonic KEVIN, we have here, indeed. It shows also how talented AYERS can be when he really tries to come up with great music. That's too bad he wouldn't go further in this direction, as he had the potential.

Great things happen again with the next perfectly sequenced song ''Margaret'' which keeps us in the mood.A beautiful romantic ballad, very intimate KEVIN AYERS sings with his deep voice. I don't know how ''Margaret'' could resist him after that!! a beautiful poem sung in a perfect romantic setting with lush strings arrangements and the gentle accompaniment of some nice piano.

But that's still a KEVIN AYERS album as the charm is brutally interrupted with the next track'' OH MY'' a simple ballroom old jazz silly tune, fun for sure, but totally out of place after the great 2 first songs. What a schock! Sounds more like a octoberfest kind of song ,if you see what i mean. But, hey, that's KEVIN AYERS! you have to expect stuff like that.

However, we are back on the good tracks with the great psychedelic SONG FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE WELL which sounds exactly like the title indicates. An experimental track sung by a creepy voice sounding like coming from the grave.But that's nicely constructed,even if it ends in total mayhem; could have been featured on the SOFT MACHINE first album. After the Octoberfest tune, now we are treated to a perfect HALLOWEEN song. A -once again- different AYERS, but a good one at that.

Another highlight of WHATEVERSHEBRINGSWESING is the 8mns title track, a gorgeous ballad KEVIN knows how to compose, a sweet gorgeous piece sung by KEVIN joined by the fragile sounding voice of pal ROBERT WYATT on the chorus.This is all charming with the beautiful female backing vocals in the background talking about having good time with a -again- good glass of wine.

KEVIN AYERS will never been mistaken with ROGER WATERS or PETER HAMMILL regarding his lyrics; Actually, KEVIN is the perfect antidote to the other 2. AYERS is not dealing about death, loneliness, depression or any other mental anguish. AYERS just see the good things of life can bring and just want to enjoy the best of it be it wine, good food, laziness on the beach or pretty woman. There are no bricks in the wall in the world of KEVIN AYERS. just good time!

The next song STRANGER IN BLUE SUEDE SHOES is one of his biggest ''hits'',(if there are such things like ''hits'' in his career), a very catchy tune that is still performed by AYERS these days; Not very prog, not very complicated, but pleasant, very AYERS to make it short. Another big surprise is the next-completely unexpected- ( really!!) CHAMPAGNE COWBOY BLUES that comes like a hair in the soup. KEVIN goes western, with one of those ballads you can hear in those old John Wayne movies where the cowboys sing under the stars around the fire at night after a long day in the outdoors , only interrupted in the middle by a reprise of the circus theme from JOY OF A TOY CONTINUED from the first album. Typical AYERS.

The album ends with the short cute instrumental LULLABY, a good way to close it with a very nice flute solo from DIDER MALHERBE. WHATEVERSHEBRINGSWESING is a great album with its usual imperfections when it comes to a KEVIN AYERS recording. But that's what makes it charm , doesn't it? Somewhere between 3.5 stars and 4 stars deserving more than -now- 9 reviews!

4 STARS

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Send comments to febus (BETA) | Report this review (#138262)
Posted Friday, September 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
ghost_of_morphy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The capsule review for this one is that it contains great music, but a very uneven style. Some artists use solo albums to explore different types of music. (Peter Gabriel I or Jon Anderson's Animation would be good examples.) Anyhow, put on your hiking boots, because Mr. Ayers is about to take you on a whimsical journey across musical boundaries.

There is Loving/Amongst Us/There is Loving is easily the most adventurous track on the album. Combining symphonic music, a take on modern classical music and rock, this song charts new and exciting ground. It's not catchy, it's not pop and it certainly does require a degree of patience from the listener. But it is rewarding.

Margaret is a lush and beautiful ballad. There's not much here that takes it beyond the realm of ballads except for some unexpected chord changes, but it's still a beautiful song, even though it's simplistic. Lord knows, if I can play it and sing to it, it has to be simple. Yet it's a very attractive song. So much so that I tend to start listening to the album here instead of on the first track.

Oh My brings down the level of interest, if not the quality. This singalong song (with what at least sounds to my ears as a New Orleans jazz influence) is excellently executed, but ultimately doesn't really catch my interest.

Song From The Bottom Of A Well is probably the strangest and most interesting song on this album. It's an attempt at some of that really disturbing music from the psychedelic tradition, complete with drastic changes in the left/right balance, dissonance, and weird lyrics. Yet it's better produced and somehow more positive than most similar songs in that tradition.

Whatevershebringswesing is another song that I can't recommend. It's a mellow ballad with country influences, and that kills it for me, despite a very nice featured guitar solo.

Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes, on the other hand, is a great song despite being grounded in old fashioned rock and roll. What can I say, this song is cool! It features great lyrics that tell a good story in a memorable way, complimented by some brilliant performances (especially on the piano) and vocal sound effects that should sound cheezy but instead fit the song well.

Champagne Cowboy Blues is another Western influenced track. It has some nice effects in the percussion and ultimately is well produced, but I can't recommend it. It doesn't even have the redeeming feature of a great guitar solo, unlike Whatevershebringswesing, although it defnitely does have some weirdness in it.

Lullabye is another song that is punched up by great production values. It's basically a flute solo over some piano work, and it's really likeable. What do I mean when I say really likeable? Well, I just took a list at my last.fm page and Lullabye is tied for eighth as my most listened track. (If you are interested, it is tied with UK -- In the Dead of Night, Camel -- Supertwister, Bill Bruford -- Hell's Bells and Steve Hackett -- Spectral Mornings.) Anyhow, I recommend this song unreservedly.

I'm only reviewing the original album, but I do have the remaster, and I would be remiss in not mentioning that Fake Mexican Tourist Blues is a novelty song that would have been a welcome replacement for several songs on this album. The other bonus tracks are generally strong as well.

So now on to my quandry. What do I rate this? I definitely want you to hear this, so I'm really tempted to give it four stars and claim that it's an excellent addiont to any prog music collection. On the other hand, the inclusion of a few songs that are clearly worlds away from prog makes me think that three stars for an album that is good but non-essential might be more appropriate.

Screw it. The highs on this album outweigh the lows. Four stars. (But I reserve the right to change my rating later.)

Thank you very much! (Bye, bye.)

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Send comments to ghost_of_morphy (BETA) | Report this review (#175033)
Posted Tuesday, June 24, 2008 | Review Permalink
obiter
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A great collection of Canterbury musicians. A great cover and gate fold photograph.

It's eclectic, it's not the easiest listening in parts if you are not used to it, but this is a style and an album which is worth listening to again and again. It's not the perceived wisdom but I much prefer this to Shooting at the Moon.

I am ridiculously prejudiced in reviewing this because I love this style. There's a freedom and ok self-indulgence which contrasts so sharply with the present commercial scene. Along with it is the sense of humour that we come to expect from the Canterbury scene. The impression is of a bunch of musicians who are really enjoying what they are doing (who knows if they were or not, I'm just saying that's how it comes across): you can't help but smile when listening to this. Even the dark song form the bottom of the well sounds a breath away from an outbreak of laughter.

Love the bass on Whatevershebrings I think it's Mike Oldfield.

This is an excellent addition to your collection. You should have some Kevin Ayers. Which one I can't say, but you won't go wrong with this album.

It's not essential treat yourself you know you want to.

And I hear that to maintain musical sensibilities it is now recommended to have no fewer than 5 portions of prog a day .... you have been warned

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Send comments to obiter (BETA) | Report this review (#181772)
Posted Thursday, September 04, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars When you look at the opinions of Kevin's fans it seems like it's a toss up when it comes to the first three albums, they're all rated fairly evenly overall. This is Kevin's third album and my least favourite of the three, although they all seem to be in the same sort of style. Mike Oldfield plays bass and some guitar, this was before he was known. David Bedford is on keyboards and did the orchestral arrangements. Actually when the started to tour in support of this album they brought in an orchestra but found it was not only costly but difficult to get the right "live" sound with all those different acoustic instruments. Robert Wyatt adds some backup vocals on one track as well.

"There Is Loving / Among Us / There Is Loving" features lots of orchestral sounds then it settles into a psychedelic mood. Dissonant sounds 2 1/2 minutes in and then it calms right down a minute later. Back to the orchestral sounds followed again by my favourite part the psychedelic soundscape. "Margaret" is a slow paced ballad with reserved vocals. Nice song. "Oh My" is kind of silly with violin and sax. "Song From The Bottom Of A Well" is my favourite and totally different from the rest. And it does sound like it's coming from the bottom of a well ! Deep vocals a minute in in this dark and experimental track. Check out the guitar to end it.

"Whatervershebringswesing" is laid back with Wyatt singing backup. "Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes" is my second favourite with strummed guitar and a good beat. Vocals join in. A fun song. Piano comes in as the vocals become processed. "Champagne Cowboy Blues" is an ode to partying. About 3 minutes in it sounds like a parade going by (haha). "Lullabye" is pastoral with the sound of running water, piano and flute.

So another good album from Kevin, i'd really suggest you check out one of his first three recordings.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#221433)
Posted Tuesday, June 16, 2009 | Review Permalink
loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The frist four albums of Kevin Ayers are prized possessions in my personal collection and "whatevershebringswesing" is perhaps the most complete of all the four! Complete with orchestra this genius hooked up again with some pretty awesome talent to record one fantastic album (Mike Oldfield, David Bedford, Didier Malherbe and Robert Wyatt). Ayers created a psychedelically-English-styled progressive rock (sound to me like a mix of Pink Floyd, Caravan and Nick Drake). Ayers was just one of those musicians who could write and whose records are just so darn perfect. His albums are ones that you can listen to a hundred times and get something different out of each time. I am blown away that so few people have discovered this artist and IMHO this was the best work he ever did and I dramatically prefer over GONG and his later contributions. The Ayers albums have been amazingly remastered by EMI and the cast a whole new perspective on this albums. Go treat yourslef and go get this album!

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#223832)
Posted Monday, June 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Another ragged solo album from Kevin Ayers; like most of his albums, it's a bit patchy and inconsistent and the musical style is all over the place, but for some reason this just *works*. The music, in fact, is much like Ayers' public persona of a shabby but loveable posh hippy who's had a bit too much to drink. Unlike the previous album, this one is much more skewed towards catchy pop numbers like the upbeat piano-led drinking story Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes, the sleepy Champagne Cowboy Blues (which sounds like Noel Coward's take on a country ballad), and the gentle Margaret, but there are some more progressive and experimental tracks like the title track, the opening There Is Loving/Among Us/There Is Loving, and especially the simultaneously whimsical and frightening Song From the Bottom of a Well. It's a real mixed bag, but that's what you get with Ayers and you just have to take it or leave it. For my part, I'm happy to take it.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#485772)
Posted Monday, July 18, 2011 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Shedidn'tthinkyou'dsingitlikethatthough!

Following the release of "Shooting at the moon", which was actually credited to Kevin Ayers and the Whole World, that band toured in support of the album. Ayers however found that touring was not really his bag and subsequently disbanded the group. He then set about recording "Whatevershebringswesing" as a solo album. This was not however to be a one man effort by any means, and pretty much The Whole World(!) plus members of Gong step in to help out.

Released in January 1972, the LP consists of two sides of four tracks each. Each side starts with a feature track running to 7 or 8 minutes, supported by three shorter tracks. The first track is an amalgam of an Ayers song and a David Bedford composition. This track (alone) was actually recorded prior to the break up of The Whole World, hence Bedford's compositional credit for the full orchestra "Among us" section. After this rather avant-garde indulgence, the rest of the album seems more conventional and melodic.

"Margaret" is a delightful love song with understated orchestration, while "Oh my" is an old tyme brass band style happy song with a deep south jazz feel. The song is not unlike the similarly named "Ah me, ah my" by The Strawbs from around the same time. "Song from the bottom of a well" returns us to Ayers at his most indulgent, the spooky vocals (along the lines of the start of "Thriller"!) being supported by off beat sound loops and backwards recordings.

Although the title track is the longest on the album, it is not overburdened by complexity by any means. Here we have one of Ayers fine mid-paced soft songs, of the type which I feel he does best. Robert Wyatt adds harmony vocals and Mike Oldfield provides an extended lead guitar solo to this, the highlight of the album. "Stranger in blue suede shoes" provides some light relief musically and lyrically, the song also being released as a single.

"Champagne cowboy blues" is a sort of melancholy drinking song, with breaking bottles providing the rhythm. It is lightweight, but inoffensively pleasant. The album closes with the brief, appropriately titled "Lullaby", essentially a flute and piano duet. The piece is unusual for an Ayers album, but then by now we should expect the unusual.

Overall, a typically eclectic Kevin Ayers album. There is much to enjoy here along with the odd frustration along the way. The good far exceeds the not so good though.

The remastered CD has 4 additional tracks. One of these is just an early mix of "Champagne cowboy blues", but the other three are non-album tracks. "Stars" was the B side of the single, the song being upbeat and commercial. The other two bonus tracks are not actually from the same period as the album recordings, but were put together later in 1972. It seems the songs may have been intended as two sides of a single, but they remained unreleased until they appeared on an Ayers compilation album in 1976. Both songs are from Ayers whimsical, retro side, appealing but unchallenging.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#579343)
Posted Thursday, December 01, 2011 | Review Permalink
Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Whatevershebrings... is one of the best recordings from Kevin Ayers: unclassifiable, adventurous, mad, unpredictable.

It opens with some symphonic spleandour of "There Is Loving", passes through the melodic, warm and delicate "Margaret", fly over the happy "Oh My" (a brass band pastiche) and finally throws itself in the purest madness of "Song from the Bottom of a Well". A really creepy number with psychopathic vocals and weir guitar stuff (by Mike Oldfield): the most fascinating (and anguishing) song of the album.

The title track is no less inspired but is at the opposite side of things: a romantic arrangement for the singer to express all his peculiar lunatic warmth.

The is also room for the large serie of "...mr Whatsit... blues" things: the slow paced "Champagne Cowboy Blues" and the more interesting "Stranger in Blue Suede Shoes" (I've always liked it).

What to say? Maybe the album sounds a bit dated or annoying in some parts, but still, it's impossibile not to love the opening number, the gothic "Bottom of the Well" and the glorious anthem "Stranger in Blue Suede Shoes".

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Send comments to Andrea Cortese (BETA) | Report this review (#648353)
Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 | Review Permalink

KEVIN AYERS Whatevershebringswesing ratings only


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